I ran the 27′ Contender “Trade In” with Maureen Klause, Cullen Wright, and Joe Carey in search of wahoo and white marlin. There has been a consistent bite of some wahoo and white marlin around the Hot Dog and the lumps outside of it to 50 fathoms. The ride there was a little rough, and the SW 15 knot wind kicked up the seas throughout the day, but we still fished. We started our morning at the Hot Dog and I was marking solid bait on the edge at 160 feet of water. We dropped a planar down with a blue/white Hawaiian Eye with a ballyhoo on wire behind it and WHAM! It was whacked within 10 minutes and up to the surface came a nice wahoo screaming out line and jumping all over the surface. Maureen was on her first ever wahoo and after about 20 minutes of gaining line back, we had a nice 65-70 pound wahoo in the boat!
We got back on the troll and went back over the same area and we hooked into another wahoo. Cullen reeled this one in which was his first wahoo and in came another nice 40# wahoo. I worked the area a little longer but the bait disappeared and a friend was just offshore of me and had 2 white marlin already, so we pulled up the planer, put the dredge in and worked out. Once we got into 45 fathoms we started seeing the bait and put a nice gaffer dolphin in the boat. We were looking for a white for Joe since he had never caught one and after working the bait for a while, we had a white come up and hammer a bait. It took a screaming run and the white marlin made Joe work hard to get the release, but he stayed on it and we got a quick snapshot of him with his first white before the release.
It was later in the day so we started working in towards the Tea Cup where I saw on the satellite shot that the same 73 degree water was, and it was on our heading for home. Once we got inside 40 fathoms we put the planar back down and we were on with our 3rd wahoo which I actually got to have fun with on the rod and reel. We put that 40 pounder in the boat and called it a day. Fun day of fishing and plenty of wahoo meat – my favorite!
I mated again on the Boss Lady out of Avalon, NJ for an overnight trip. We left on Friday at 1 pm and made our way out in a 4-5 foot tight head sea towards the Lindenkohl Canyon. At 20 knots the 50′ East Bay ate up the seas well. We had about 2-3 hours before nightfall and trolled around the NE Corner of the Canyon. We managed to pick up 3 dolphin before we settled into our night chunking routine. As the night went on the seas calmed down a bit and made for a comfortable night. The water temps were holding steady around 73-74 degree, and it was green. Around 9:30 pm we had a 4 foot hammerhead come up and chase after a spot I had dangling from the outrigger. After a few missed attempts, the shark got ahold of it and was on for a minute before it chewed through the 60 pound fluorocarbon leader. That was it for the night as it was dead all night. We got on the troll at sunup and pushed into 50 fathoms inside the tip of the Lindy where a few boats were getting some tuna bites and we finally got hooked into one on a rainbow squid spreader bar. After a 20 minute battle, we sunk the gaff into a 60# tuna. We gave it another hour and then headed back to the dock as the SW winds kicked up and made for another bumpy ride home.
I Captained a boat for the Annual Challenge Cup which takes place in Ocean City, MD. It is a marlin release tournament, and basically Cape May, NJ vs. Ocean City, MD. It is a tournament that is all about bragging rights and having a great time. It is my favorite tournament of the year.
Day One we started in the Poorman’s Canyon and worked our way down sea walking along the edge from 80 fathoms to 200 fathoms. The water temp was 75.5 degrees and it was a blended blue color all day. By late morning we had a pot hole left behind after a bite on the left long naked ballyhoo and game on. We got the release after about 15 minutes but we weren’t able to get a good enough look at it to identify if it was a small blue or a white so we battled with it for another 45 minutes and finally saw that it was a small blue marlin. Shortly after that we had a white on the right long that never ate and another one that laid in the back of the spread and never ate. Towards the end of the day we saw a ton of skip pies on the surface going crazy and once we went through, every rod went down. A few were the skippies and some were wahoo which bit us off above the hook. We quickly got back on the troll and I followed the skippies for two miles and then we had a blue marlin come up on the right teaser. We kept him interested while he kept passing up anything we placed in front of him for the teaser. After a little tug of war, we got a plug out to him that he piled on, but pulled off of after about 5 seconds, then he nailed the right long naked ballyhoo. We chased him for about 20 minutes and got the release. Great way to end the day.
Day Two we started just above the Washington. We got hooked up on a white right away and got the release. Not long after that we picked up another white marlin release, and then the fan turned on. It was blowing a solid 25 out of the NNW which was directly in our face for the ride home, so the crew made the call to start making our way back, and it was a long ride home. It was a steady 5-8 foot chop so we couldn’t do much better than 10 knots. Most of the fleet made the same decision to go home early, but a few of the bigger boats stuck it out and caught 8-9 whites.
It was another fun tournament, just a bit of the bummer that we were blown out on the last day. Cape May ended up taking the Challenge Cup for 2012. Hopefully we get another run of whites up our way and also some overnight tuna action. Things have been hit and miss, but more so miss lately, but anything can change quickly.
Well we ended up short handed on the Trade In today, but we decided to go white marlin fishing anyway. I heard great reports of a marlin bite that was going on for a couple days in the Wilmington Canyon, so we went for it. The seas were sloppy and fishing was tough on the 27′ center console, but we managed to raise some fish. I kept the spread simple only pulling 5 lines and one dredge hoping that would make it easier when the whites came up. Maureen wanted a white marlin for her birthday so she was taking shots at hooking them. We wound up 2/7 and raised 9 for the day. At one point we had a quad but just didn’t have the anglers to rack up the numbers. We were going to stop and tilefish at the end of the lay, but it never calmed down, so we pulled the plug and headed home. The water was a consistent 78 degrees and blue throughout the day, but it never calmed down at all which made trolling back up sea difficult. All of our bites came when I was trolling in the trough against the current making 5 knots. The water was moving West at about .6 knots all day. It turned out to be a fun day of fishing, and Mo got two white marlin releases for her Birthday trip.